Krishna compares creation to a Pipal tree with its roots fixed in the Supreme Lord, its stems representing Brahma (creator of the universe) and its leaves the Vedas. The tree is fed by the three gunas; sense-objects are its branches. This tree of bondage (body-consciousness or individuality) can be cut by the sword of non-attachment. Krishna describes the birth of an individual soul in the mortal world. A fraction of his own Supreme Being becomes a living soul (jivatma), which draws to itself the mind and five senses and rests in the body. After fulfilling particular desires, it leaves that body, carrying with it the mind and senses. The individual soul dwelling in the body enjoys the objects of the world through the senses. The ignorant, due to lack of knowledge, identify with the body, and experience pleasure and pain. The wise stand as witness of all activities. The Lord alone makes the sun, moon, stars and fire to shine with light. He supports all the beings by permeating the earth with His energy. The Lord dwells in the hearts of all and from Him comes memory and knowledge, as well as their absence. He is the Supreme Self pervading the three worlds and sustaining them. He transcends the perishable and is higher than the imperishable. Hence He is called Purushottama in the Vedas. Krishna, after describing His all-pervasive existence in the world, asks Arjuna as well as the entire humanity to become wise by knowing this secret and reach the goal of human life, God-realization.
Chapter 15 describes how God exists in all the names and forms, in both movable or immovable objects of the universe. All the planets including sun, moon and stars move and shine with fraction of his energy. He is consciousness in human beings in the physical, mental, physiological and other levels. The person who understands this supreme secret knowledge becomes wise; all his doubts and sufferings end spontaneously.
IMPORTANT VERSES IN CHAPTER 15
1. They (the wise) speak of the indestructible peepul tree, having its root above and branches below; whose leaves are the metres or hymns; he who knows it is a knower of the Vedas.
5. Free from pride and delusion, victorious over evil of attachment, dwelling constantly in the Self, their desires having completely turned away, freed from the pairs of opposites known as pleasure and pain, the undeluded reach the eternal goal.
6. Neither doth the sun illumine there nor the moon, nor the fire; having gone thither they return not; that is My supreme abode.
19. He who, undeluded, knows Me thus as the Supreme Purusha, he knowing all, worships Me with his whole being (heart), O Arjuna.
Q1. Explain the analogy of the tree to this universe.
Q2. Is it possible to permanently destroy this 'tree of bondage'? If so, how?
Q3. Who identifies with the body? and why?